Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks are incredibly easy to make in the air fryer with so much less hassle than on the stovetop, oven or grill. They’re seasoned to perfection and ready to eat in 25 minutes.
» You might also like these 20 Delicious Air Fryer Pork Recipes.
Everyone loves chicken drumsticks so why not make everyone happy for dinner tonight by crisping up something easy and fun to eat.
Best of all, you can cook these chicken drumsticks in the air fryer from raw or frozen, in case you find yourself running low on time for defrosting. Just pull them from the freezer and toss them in the air fryer.
Why Use an Air Fryer
An air fryer is an incredibly easy way to cook just about anything. You place the food in a fryer-style basket and hot air rapidly circulates all around the food, making the food crisp – much like deep-frying, but without the oil. You can cook anything you’d make in the oven.
- I use a Ninja MaxXL air fryer (pictured left). If you don’t have an air fryer yet, check out these options to find one that fits your needs.
- See reviews and prices for air fryers on Amazon.
- Here’s a printable Air Fryer Cooking Times Cheat Sheet to get you started.
- Click to find more recipes to make in your Air Fryer.
- Learn how to make fun things in the air fryer, like potato wedges, pork belly bites, and chicken wings.
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
Pat the chicken drumsticks dry with a paper towel. If they’re frozen, you can skip this step.
Combine the paprika and seasoned salt. Season each piece of chicken. The more thoroughly you season, the more flavor they will have. For kids, you can go light, but for the adults go ahead and shake it all on.
If you’re starting with frozen drumsticks, you won’t be able to put on the seasoning at the start. Instead, hold off until the halfway point, when you turn the drumsticks. You can then season them and give them a little spritz of oil, if they need it.
Place the chicken in the basket. Cook at 370 degrees F (185 C) for 20 minutes, turning the drumsticks over at the halfway mark.
The Internal temperature of the meat needs to be 165 degrees F. That’s how you know they’re done. Since air fryers can be quite different, always check the temperature and continue cooking if necessary to reach 165.
I have found that the timing depends greatly on the size of the chicken drumsticks you’re using. Larger drumsticks will need up to 25 minutes to reach the correct internal temperature.
If you want to cook them even faster, you’ll get a crispier result from cooking the drumsticks at 380 degrees F for 18 minutes.
Tips for Cooking From Frozen
If cooking from frozen, you’ll need to cook them at 380 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, depending on their size. As you can see in our photos, the drumsticks are on the smaller side. These took 25 minutes to cook from frozen to 165 degrees F.
If you’ve stacked up a dozen or more drumsticks in the air fryer basket, they might need even longer. Be sure to check that the meat is cooked through either with a thermometer or by checking the center.
There are so many ways to dress up Chicken Drumsticks. Since these are such an easy dinner or snack to make, we like to mix it up sometimes and eat them with different seasonings and sauces. You could have a different style every night, if you wanted.
Here are a few of our favorites:
- Cajun seasoning
- BBQ style: Sprinkle on some smoked salt or BBQ meat seasoning, or slather with BBQ sauce near the end of cooking.
- Buffalo style: Season with some celery salt and brush on some Frank’s Red Hot sauce near the end of cooking.
- Serve with ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, honey mustard, BBQ sauce, or this delicious Alabama white BBQ sauce.
Side Dishes to Serve with Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
Just about anything goes well with chicken. These drumsticks are so easy to make so lets follow that up with some easy but tasty side dish ideas.
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Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
- 8 medium chicken drumsticks
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt (or similar)
- Spray cooking oil
- Salt and ground pepper to taste
- Pat the chicken drumsticks dry with a paper towel.
- Combine the paprika and seasoned salt. Season each piece of chicken.
- Spray the bottom of the air fryer basket with cooking spray.
- Place the chicken in the basket. Cook at 370 degrees F for 30 minutes, turning the drumsticks over at the halfway mark.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Internal temperature needs to be 165 degrees F when done. Always check the temperature and continue cooking if necessary to reach 165.
- If cooking from frozen, cook at 380 degrees F for 35 minutes.
- If cooking only 2-4 drumsticks, cook for 25 minutes.
All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.
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Laura is a passionate foodie and owner of Air Fry Anytime She is dedicated to sharing delicious recipes and helpful tips for using air fryers at home. With years of experience in the kitchen and a love for healthy, flavorful cooking, Laura has become an expert at using air fryers to create amazing meals that are both nutritious and delicious.